N-Dubz rapper Dappy walks free from court after knife charge

Day 2 - Isle Of Wight Festival 2014
Day 2 - Isle Of Wight Festival 2014

Former N-Dubz rapper Dappy has walked free from court after his girlfriend told a judge she "couldn't ask for a better father and partner".

The 30-year-old reality television personality, whose real name is Costadinos Contostavlos, admitted carrying a kitchen knife during the confrontation with partner Imani Campbell outside their home in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, on May 10.

Contostavlos, who has an 18-month-old daughter with Miss Campbell, admitted carrying the knife and pointing it at neighbours before returning inside the home.

But Miss Campbell said her partner was not responsible for the row.

Addressing the judge from the witness box, she said: "I think when a male and a female are in a relationship and an argument occurs, the male may come across as the bad one, and that's not always the case."

Asked to describe how Contostavlos supported the family, his partner of three years said: "He takes care of me and my daughter. I couldn't ask for for a better father for my daughter or a partner for me."

Judge Nigel Lithman QC, sitting at Luton Crown Court, said the defendant had to "act as a proper role model".

The singer, earlier told to stop "gesticulating" from the dock by the judge, wept and said "thank you" as his nine-month jail term was suspended for two years.

He was sporting a black eye having been attacked during his six weeks on remand while waiting for sentencing, defence counsel Thomas Flavin said.

Outlining the case, prosecutor Neil King said the incident stemmed from an argument outside the family home.

Miss Campbell also had a knife at one stage, which she said she was using to prepare food in their kitchen.

Mr King said the defendant pointed the blade - described in court as a butcher's knife - at neighbours and made reference to his "boys" coming.

Mr King said: "He goes a few paces towards where people are and threatened them. They were alarmed by it."

Defending, Mr Flavin said: "He's a man who lost his father at the age of 19. He had fame thrust upon him at an early age - he had a very successful music career."

His black eye was "a result of him being with people who seek to further their own status within the prison by taking on someone of some fame," Mr Flavin added.

Father-of-three Contostavlos, who has seven previous convictions for 10 offences including battery and affray, clasped his hands together in prayer and mouthed "please" throughout the hearing, drawing the ire of the judge.

Being told he would not face an immediate custodial sentence, Contostavlos said: "Thank-you, your honour. Thank-you so much."

Emerging from the back of Luton Crown Court around 90 minutes after the hearing, Contostavlos told reporters: "I wanna focus on what I'm best at and that's making music for the masses - that's all I can say, you know what I mean?"